Monday, February 19, 2018

My Sewing Room

When our children left home, I took over the upstairs - the entire area became my sewing studio. We live in a Sears house that is a story and a half so the upstairs is not huge; it has two bedrooms and a large dormer. When we bought the house in 1979, that dormer which overlooks the front of the house and the street, became my sewing room.   

A few days ago I showed my cutting/fabric/pressing room. A few of you asked to see more. Since I just cleaned it, I thought this would be the right time for pictures. The other bedroom used to be the layout room but now I have a design wall so that room is our guest room and the place I store finished quilts. Right now it is full of stuff for the upcoming garage sale and a mess - you really don't want to see it!

The dormer room is 6.5 feet by 13 feet and it is still the place I sit and sew. It is large enough that 3 grandchildren have sewn there at the same time. 

When you enter the room and look to the left, there is a desk with my 1949 Singer Featherweight. This is my favorite machine; I love the way it sounds. The bulletin board/design wall gets very full at times I just cleaned it off. The top shelf of the bookcase has all of my quilt journals - almost every quilt I've made is recorded in pictures and notes. 
North end of sewing room
If you look right when entering the room, you'll see a custom made table that holds my Sears Serger and my Husqvarna Quilt Designer. The serger belonged to my sister-in-law and my brother gifted it to me after her death a few years ago. I use it frequently and should probably learn what else it can do. The Husqvarna (Viking) is a great workhorse; it will sew through anything! There are many racks of thread on the wall at the right side of the photo just out of view.
South end of sewing room
If you look straight into the room, you'll see my Bernina 550QE. I use it for some piecing and almost all of my quilting. You can see the black rack that I clip quilts to as I'm quilting to get the weight off of the surface. It is actually a photo backdrop stand. It was snowing the day I took this photo - I love sitting in front of the windows and looking outside while I sew.
East side of sewing room
I took a panoramic shot as I stood in the doorway. You can kind of see how everything fits together - there is enough room but not really any extra. I just move chairs to wherever I need one.
Sewing room
I am fortunate to have always had a dedicated place to sew since we moved here - it was one of the reasons I wanted to buy this house. Way back then we only had one little boy and really didn't know what the future would hold. It never occurred to me that one day I would take over the whole upstairs. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

All day in the sewing studio . . .

All day in the sewing studio is not always as much fun as it sounds. I decided to clean the craft closet in the cutting/fabric room. It's time to clean out everything - we're having a garage sale in May. It will probably take me until May to get all this cleaning done! 

The closets in this room are dormer closets and they hold a lot but really - this much from one closet????



Finally, an empty closet. 

After sorting things out, Ray helped and we got much more in the closet than I took out! It is so nice to once again be able to walk into the closet and find what I want.


The cutting/fabric room survived

 although more cleaning will eventually take place in here.

Interesting that I found some things I forgot I had - a few leader/ender quilts in progress and more. That WIP pile was kind of empty . . .

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Flannel baby quilt is finished and more ...

This donation quilt is flannel on both the front and back; it's very cuddly. It is about 53" square and has Dream Cotton batting.

I used yellow Aurifil thread to piece and quilt this. I used my walking foot to quilt a diamond grid design. The back is yellow with a small white dot.

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I am participating in the Free Motion Quilting Challenge with Angela Walters. This is a picture of my quilt for the challenge while I was piecing the top. It's the suggested pattern and goes together pretty fast. We will actually begin quilting next week. The quilt is about 53" by 58" and it is now sandwiched and ready to go!

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I have one of the two baby quilts that I can't show you pieced. I took a break to kit a couple of projects for an upcoming retreat. While I was cleaning the sewing rooms the other day, I realized that I had way too many strips of fabric. I thought there was just this basket, but I found there was also a drawer full. After pulling out enough for two quilts, I still have this

and this.

This was my beginning pile for a rail fence quilt. As I sorted more, I did 'reject' a few of these.

I also pulled out batik strips, I think 45 or 46, for a jelly roll race quilt. And I still have so many more...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Project pile Is down to one!

The second crayon quilt, Box of Ten, is finished. 

Can you see the boxes of crayons? It is such cute fabric.

The quilt is 42" by 48" and has Dream Cotton batting. I used Aurifil thread for the piecing and quilted with Coats and Clark Egyptian Cotton Star multicolor machine quilting thread. You can see is has fall colors.

The back of this donation quilt uses the rest of the crayon box fabric and the last two big crayons.

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I am binding a quilt and there is a quilt rolled on boards ready to pin. That leaves one quilt, yes only ONE, in the project pile and it needs an idea - I just have six sailboat blocks.

Now, if I'm totally honest, there are a few leader/ender quilts that have been started. However, in this pile, there is only ONE And that means I get to start something new!!! 

I have a couple of baby quilts that are high on the list. And I have some ideas and fabric pulled for a few donation quilts. And I just joined the Free-Motion Challenge Quilt Along with Angela Walters. I need to make that quilt so I can practice my free-motion quilting and learn new things. If you are interested, you can find everything on Facebook. Look for the Free-Motion Challege [sic] Quilting Along page. Maybe I'll see you there...

Monday, February 5, 2018

Cock-A-Doodle Moo I and II are finished

I began Cock-A-Doodle Moo I and II at a retreat last November.  My young friend, B, helped me design them.
Cock-A-Doodle Moo I in November
Cock-A-Doodle Moo II in November
I just had the layer cake and some extra white fabric with me at the retreat. After pulling them out of the WIP pile last week, I decided that they really needed more color. So I removed the borders and tore apart the rows leaving the blocks exactly as they were.

Each of the quilts is 45" by 54". I used Dream Cotton Batting and Aurifil thread for both of them. 

I used blue fabric for the horizontal sashing and border of Cock-A-Doodle Moo I but I didn't have enough for the vertical borders so they stayed white. I free-motion quilted this with a large stipple scribble. 
Cock-A-Doodle Moo I finished

The back has four leftover squares from the front.

I replaced the horizontal sashing and the borders of Cock-A-Doddle Moo II with yellow fabric. The orange binding adds even more color. I free-motion quilted this one with a large stipple. 
Coc-A-Doodle Moo II finished
The back uses the last layer cake piece which I cut into fourths.

These are both donation quilts. I know the white vertical pieces are no longer lined up perfectly - I may have been a little aggressive in the tearing apart and that might have affected the restitching...

I'm working on the second crayon quilt. I dislike having a large WIP (works in progress) pile; I always want those quilts done and ready to donate. I'm also anxious for the WIP pile to go away because I have ideas and I'm ready to begin new things!

Note added: The layer cake for the two quilts above is Farm by French Bull, Windham Fabrics.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Box of 15 and Quilt Jungle are finished!

Box of 15 is finished! 

When I got the Cricut Maker, I wanted to cut fabric so I found a free pattern on Riley Blake Designs website. I used the Cricut to cut the black bands with the serpentine, the crayon points, and the sides of the points. It worked well! Well, there was a bit of a learning curve. I pulled solids from my stash and made 28 crayons. This quilt used 16 and the other 12 will show up in another quilt one of these days.


Box of 15 is 45" by 47". I used Dream Cotton batting and Aurifil thread for the piecing. 

I used a walking foot and orange Aurifil thread to machine quilt this quilt. 

This is a donation quilt and I hope the recipient just smiles whenever he/she uses it.

The back is orange and yellow with a green crayon.

I thought the binding went with the crayon colors.


A while back when I was getting ready to go on retreat, I was trying to find a couple of extra projects to take along. I came across two pieces of 'jungle' fabric that went together and decided to add some red and make a quilt. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I found that project bag and decided to finally make this simple little quilt. Quilt Jungle is 45" by 49". 

Of course I used Dream Cotton batting and Aurifil thread. 

I machine quilted this with a walking foot in a cross hatch design. I think you can see it better on the back.
Oops! I just finished exercising and my white sweat socks are showing.
This is also a donation quilt.

On my to-do list is the next crayon quilt and also another sailboat quilt using the leftover boats. The list is really much longer which is good - I have lots of choices!



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Quilt Shops we visited...

On our little trip to Rock Island, Illinois, we visited three quilt shops - the important part of the trip!

The first shop was Expressions in Threads in Le Claire, Iowa. I didn't think to take photos inside.

I'd only been to this quilt shop once before, a few years ago, and I loved it. Some things don't change! The shop is still fantastic as are the people working there. I found so much that I wanted but of course, I had to choose. I'll show you some of my purchases in a few minutes.

The next shop was Quilts by the Oz. It was an interesting shop with lots of fabric. The owner was very kind. I found a few pieces that I just had to have. Sorry but I didn't get any photos of the shop. 

The last shop, Quilt Addicts Anonymous, is almost a year old and wonderful! Stephanie, the owner and a quilt designer, was very pleasant and helpful. We were able to visit with her, her husband, and their delightful daughter. 

The shop is bright and cheery, showing off more modern quilt fabrics and quilts made from Stephanie's patterns. I'm not a photographer and I was busy looking at everything so my photos aren't the best.


The shop isn't huge but there is a nice selection and everything is gorgeous. Everything is also available online at their website: shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com.
Beautiful fabric and quilts

Precuts, kits, and inspiration

I think this is the newest BOM that Stephanie designed. She was working on the finishing touches of the instructions when we arrived. Isn't it fantastic? I love the bright colors.

They also do longarm quilting. Look at that striking quilt behind the longarm machine.

This little gem was on the wall. Stephanie also made it in a large size and had Leah Day quilt it. 

So what did I buy at all of these shops? Well I can't show you everything since I'm making a quilt that is a surprise but I'll show you the rest.
I plan to use this for the next sailboat quilt using the leftover sailboats.

No plan - I just loved the colors and designs

These will probably be backings.
These will be backings.

These will probably be backings.

The crayons will be used in the second crayon quilt.
I fell in love with the stripes and they followed me home!

Now I just need time to sew! I do have a couple of finishes that I'll show you soon.


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